Can you really automate your customer service experience?

Contact centers are the backbone of customer-centric organizations around the world. Well established practices and years of experience have culminated in effective avenues of customer acquisition and creating loyal customer bases. With improvements in AI and machine learning, it’s time to incorporate automation into contact center processes and take service to the next level.

The ins and outs of automation

You wouldn’t want to greeted by a machine every time you had an issue, would you? Unsurprisingly, your customers feel the same way! The personal touch that comes with human interaction is tough to replace, but there are some clear advantages to automation.

Robotic processes are best used in tandem with strong contact center support. While you can’t expect automation to wave a magic wand and solve your customer’s issue, you can rely on it to tell you what the customer is most likely calling about. It can pull up a history of interactions and even direct the call to someone with the right skillset, thereby reducing call resolution time.

The greatest advantage of automation is that these ‘robots’ can predict with accuracy the direction in which a call is heading. They can see what’s going to happen and equip agents accordingly. Tied in with voice intelligence, automation can improve customer satisfaction manifold.

The big data influence

For any robotic process automation to be successful, there is a certain degree of big data incorporation required. All robots learn from data mining.

For example, if you have a promotional offer that you’d like to spread the word on, you can have your contact center agents target potential leads. From the very first call you make to someone, data is stored. If your call center agent calls your customer two days in a row to no response, the robot can then highlight this to the agent that tries to reach out next, and provide timely information on when best to reach the customer.

Where can you plug RPA?

Robotic process automation is not a comprehensive solution but a good start to solving some customer care pain points.

  • Call Resolution Time: Customers want answers and they want them fast. Taking time to verify identities and pull up case history is an inefficiency. If you have a returning customer, it makes little sense to have them respond to control questions just because they have been connected to a different agent. With robotic automation, the system can identify the customer based on the phone number and bypass security while also pulling up relevant history.
  • Be proactive with customer care: Using analytics, it is possible to track where your customers are. If you see someone constantly reaching for particular topics under help documentation, the ‘robot’ can be proactive and lend a helping call. This not only resolves the issue for them but cements your position as a caring organization.
  • Agent Performance Tracker: Internally, there are many methods to improve performance and effectively train contact center agents. Unfortunately, this is both time consuming and disheartening. Many companies have seen drastic improvements after successfully incorporating automation into the daily work lives of agents. The first thing agents see is a dashboard with real-time performance data pertaining to the number of calls made, resolved and escalated, and more. It allows agents to self-analyze and proactively learn to be better.
  • NPI (New Product Information): Another innovative step towards improving efficiencies and maximizing resources is through an automation process that introduces promotional offers immediately to agents in the aforementioned dashboard. By ensuring they have the information at their fingertips, you can save countless hours of group orientation sessions.
  • Workforce Management: Automation can also be a great tool for managing internal resources. One such application involves workforce management. This tool is especially helpful when faced with a sudden influx of customer support calls. It provides an overview of available resources as well as a realistic projection of whether the inbound campaign will be a success. With a single glance, you can manage the entire floor and raise staffing requirements if necessary.

The final word

Contact centers will always be, first and foremost, human-run support centers. Though they can never be replaced, robotic process automation can pave the way for leaps and bounds in improving efficiencies and customer support, and lighten the load on agents.

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